Democrat President Joe Biden confessed to House progressives on Tuesday that he is dropping tuition-free community college from his multitrillion dollar spending package in an effort to appease moderate Democrats who have blocked his radical spending spree. The move is a major blow to Biden’s campaign promises as he attempts to move forward with spending on climate and economic issues.
Speaking to Senate Democrats, Biden renegotiated his original $3.5 trillion spending package down to a reported $1.75 trillion figure, which Democrats plan to vote using a budget reconciliation method that bypasses the need for any Republican support. While not entirely realized, the figure is a far cry closer to the $1.5 trillion amount that Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has been demanding, and who’s vote is critical to pass the legislation with a 50-50 vote.
Leveraging his swing vote, Manchin successfully blocked his own party’s $3.5 trillion radical spending package which would have blown generations worth of tax dollars on free community college, child tax credits, radically expanded Medicare, paid family leave, and a Green New Deal.
According to Biden, the results of the negotiation were that the community college tuition was dropped entirely from the bill, and the child tax credit would only be expanded for a single year, as well as means tested, at the insistence of Manchin.
Other spending decreases include $400 billion in homecare for the elderly being dropped to $250 billion, and paid leave benefits being good for only four weeks instead of 12.
Democrats still have their sights set to expand Medicare’s coverage to include vision, hearing, and dental, but with another bill. Progressives are also promising to continue pushing for additional aid for higher education, even if they can’t achieve free tuition.
Free public college used to be considered a radical and fringe idea, promoted in 2016 solely by self-described socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during his bid for the presidential nomination. Since that time, free college has turned into a litmus test for Democratic candidates to test how progressive they are. Biden not only embraced the idea during his 2020 campaign, but has claimed that it is of tip priority for the White House. Additionally, Biden wants taxpayer-funded universal pre-kindergarten.
Progressives are in a fury about Manchin’s use of his swing vote to negotiate nearly $2 trillion in leftist spending off of the American taxpayer, but for all of their venom, they have to compromise with him if they’re going to have any bill at all.
Author: Matt Harris